Purchasing new equipment to spur on growth might be manageable in a normal economy.
But in an uncertain economy, careful expense management is the better choice, according to article on Construction Executive’s website.
The article explains how a large road contractor was weighed down by high equipment, maintenance and operating costs. A substantial operating loss resulted when the contractor couldn’t shed its leveraged fixed debt fast enough.
While this article focuses on the construction industry, the same lessons can also be applied to field services companies.
Let’s say you’re looking at new field service management software to integrate your accounting and project management systems, but don’t have the capital to invest in the entire infrastructure. You should consider using a hosted or online service where you just pay for the software on a monthly basis.
In that case, for field service firms looking to improve such systems, it might be time to look at web based service management software rather than investing capital in on-premises infrastructure.
Another advantage is that implementation times can be shorter if you’re using the system without too many customizations. Most field services agencies are just starting to consider the cloud.
In the case of the business highlighted in the Construction Magazine article, “the contractor implemented new accounting and project management systems, hired top talent, established efficient workflows and realized total engagement from its employees.”
The article goes on how outline four themes critical to thriving in this economy.
- Assess timing: Ask yourself this question: Is it the right time to invest in new equipment, or should the focus be on saving money?
- Analyze processes: Determine if a new system could help improve efficiency.
- Ensure operational alignment: Determine whether field and support personnel share the same objectives.
- Examine your workforce: Make sure that everyone is committed to success.
- Communicate frequently: Everyone needs to understand the plan and the objectives.
Source: Construction Executive, November 2012